“It is never too late to start educating yourself.”This is the message a 48-year-old mother and grandmother from Nomzamo wants to share with the youth of her community.Phumzile September is living proof that you should not allow setbacks and circumstances to define your future. She dropped out of high school in 1989, but is currently studying towards a degree in Social Work at Stellenbosch University.The vibrant mother admits to have battled an alcohol addiction for 22 years. But she overcame the dependence to set her sights on returning to school to complete her Grade 12 qualification.September, the mother to two boys aged a 27 and 15 and a 17-year-old daughter, says her life’s course changed for the better when she became a born-again Christian in 2007. “Once you are in Christ, you become a new creation. I wanted to test this for myself,” she says with a smile. So in 2010, September enrolled to complete her matric part-time. After graduating with a National Senior Certificate, she registered for a course in Theology to a CFC Bible College. She successfully completed this qualification in 2012. “This ignited my dream to become a social worker. The following two years, I applied to study Social Work at Stellenbosch University, but my application was turned down on both occasions,” September recalled.“I applied again in 2015 and I was admitted as a full-time Social Work student.”But making the decision to give up a paying job to follow her dreams was a challenging time for September. “This meant our household income was dealt a blow, but I don’t regret following my dream one bit. Once you follow your dreams everything else follows,” September explained.“Another challenge was adapting to studying with young children, some who are in the same age groups as my children. There’s a saying that your brain rusts after sometime of not studying, but if you are encouraged and committed yourself there’s nothing that will stand in your way”.She believes today’s young people have countless opportunities that they need to explore through education, especially when compared to the youths of yesteryear. September urged the youth to go out and find all the information they need to better themselves, especially as they have easy access to libraries and the internet. “A setback now will be of benefit in the future. Do it for yourself. Don’t live for this moment, think about the future,” she implored.“I do not regard myself as a social worker, but rather as a projecter of hope. “I advocate for the vulnerable through the radio slot I now have at Elgin FM.” The grandmother of two also encouraged youths from Nomzamo and Lwandle to do introspection and find out what their life’s passion is.She also called on people from the townships who have been successful in life to plough back into their communities, not through money but by empowering youths with the knowledge they have gained from the life experiences.”I strongly believe that the youth need constant engagement, so they can be better understood,” September concluded.